Re: Storage for 1/2" open reel tape

Jeff Woolsey jlw at
Mon Apr 8 23:06:13 CDT 2019

> I've noted earlier that the vinyl "hanger strips" for 1/2" magnetic tape
> have been degrading, becoming brittle and simply breaking away,
> sometimes in small particles.

I have about a hundred tapes from various contributors, and have noticed
no age-related [1] deterioration of the seals, probably because mine
don't get handled very much.  About 1/3 of mine have the vinyl hanger
strips, another third the autoload seals, and the remainder are in the
bulky canisters (with several different closures).  I also have a couple
of tape racks (think "dish rack") that hold maybe thirty tapes, but the
canisters are too thick to fit in.

The tapes hang pretty well from the front lip of the wall-mounted wire
shelves (that you can get at most big-box-home-stores) I installed not
for that purpose.

The thing is, I've read and photographed most of them, so I don't need
[2] them anymore.  Their owners, like me, only wanted the data online,
not the media back. Most museums have more than they want or can use, as
well.  Some tapes have common-sense restrictions on redistribution
(Personally Identifiable Information, I think they call it nowadays).
I've even got some new, never-written ones.  But it pains me to trash
them, so I'm open to suggestions.


[1] I have dropped and broken a couple of them, but that was due to
insufficient age of the handler...  Some did not survive the reading
process due to oxide-binder aging, but the seals are fine.

[2] In many cases, usually by repurposing extra copies of software
distribution tapes, the most recent data is shorter than the original,
so the tails of older things past the EOF1 label and double tapemark can
be read without much difficulty.  The thing is, I didn't figure this out
until I'd been reading tapes a while, so the earlier ones may yield to

Jeff Woolsey {{woolsey,jlw}@jlw,first.last@{gmail,jlw}}.com
Nature abhors straight antennas, clean lenses, and empty storage.
"Delete! Delete! OK!" -Dr. Bronner on disk space management
Card-sorting, Joel.  -Crow on solitaire

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